Latest Ubuntu server image doesnt boot


I have been using Radxa zero boards for a while. I realise the new image seems broken.

I have tried

  • radxa-zero-ubuntu-focal-server-arm64-20220924-1144-mbr.img
  • radxa-zero-ubuntu-focal-server-arm64-20221031-1222-mbr.img

Both of them keeps rebooting after successful image flash.

The old image seems to work

  • radxa-zero-ubuntu-focal-server-arm64-20220302-0909-mbr.img

Related post

Could someone in the Radxa team verify this? Thanks.

The issue still persist with the latest build here

@RadxaYuntian and Team could you help take a look?

I have reports about this being hardware specific. Can you tell me your Zero’s hardware revision and the memory/eMMC configuration?

It is 1.51 hardware revision. and 4G/32G option, with wifi module.

Bought it recently.


This version of image still works, able to boot after flash

Can you check if this image boot on your Zero?

hi @chengguizi. i’m planning to replace my debian buster with ubuntu focal. i noticed that there is another image on the github repo. radxa-zero-ubuntu-focal-server-arm64-20220801-0346-mbr.img.xz

upon reading your post, i’m just curious have you try to flash this image? if yes, are still facing the os still rebooting after successfully flash the image. hoping to hear your feedback soon. regards.

The issue is still there. I’ve just wasted too much time to boot an image that should just work, as it is provided by radxa itself.
For the image radxa-zero-ubuntu-focal-server-arm64-20230101-1126-mbr you have to edit extlinux.conf file in the boot partition (the first one) in the image. Open the file extlinux/extlinux.conf and then:

  • change devicetreedir, at the end there is a ‘amlogic’ that should not be there
  • add the right fdtoverlays key for UART, so that you can have console both via hdmi and serial.

If you are on windows you can just flash the image, then windows will at least find the boot partition and let you edit the file.

This is how the extlinux.conf file should look like at the end:

timeout 10
menu title select kernel

label kernel-5.10.69-13-amlogic-g104342c59952
    kernel /vmlinuz-5.10.69-13-amlogic-g104342c59952
    initrd /initrd.img-5.10.69-13-amlogic-g104342c59952
    devicetreedir /dtbs/5.10.69-13-amlogic-g104342c59952/
    fdtoverlays /dtbs/5.10.69-13-amlogic-g104342c59952/amlogic/overlay/meson-g12a-uart-ao-a-on-gpioao-0-gpioao-1.dtbo
    append earlyprintk console=ttyAML0,115200 console=tty1 rw rootfstype=ext4 init=/sbin/init rootwait swiotlb=1 coherent_pool=1m  root=UUID=1e85accd-4614-4290-9ffb-7118b31207f0

DO NOT copy this blindly. When the kernel version changes, this will not be correct anymore, understand what needs to be changed.

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Issue reported also here:
@RadxaYuntian Can you try to see if this can be improved a bit even if debos is not supported anymore?

hi @fmiz what do you mean by this ya? then windows will at least find the boot partition? sorry for asking coz i don’t quite get what you mean here.

debos-radxa is only minimally supported until our new image can replace it.

Current if you go to Zero’s GitHub repo or Wiki download page, they all point you to 202208 image. This is because newer images are broken. There is a reason rest of the releases are marked as “prerelease” on GitHub, so they are hidden from normal users.

In the future, we will use one of latest prereleases as a release candidate, manually test it, and mark as release if it passes the test.

My bad then, I followed the link under the development section of the wiki instead of following the big “Downloads” button above… :innocent:

I worded it very badly. Once you flash the image to an SD card, Windows will read the SD and find 2 partitions on it. The first one is the boot partition and contains a FAT filesystem, when it shows up as a drive with a letter assigned to it (eg. E:), then you will be able to edit the extlinux.conf file and fix the issue.

understood. so for your board, you are using the sd card right? what if directly flash the nand using ether? do i still need to modify the extlinux.conf @fmiz?

by the way, how about previous ubuntu focal server image 20220801? have you test it and does this issue still persist?

sorry for asking to many question. my current os is debian buster. i want to switch to ubuntu focal but just afraid any kind of issue that will happen after flash the nand.

I do not know anything about booting from nand… my board does not have it. I expect you will have to edit the extlinux.conf file, the issue is not related to the boot media, as you can see from the first image in this thread the issue boils down to a wrong path used to load the devicetree (dtb) file. I do not know if you have to tweak something in the uboot configuration to make it first look the onboard nand for something to boot.

Never tested. Follow RadxaYountian’s advice and use it, then update the system with apt.

I’d suggest to make a backup (maybe compressed?) of the nand device first, then experiment.
Writing this I kind of noticed that I always assume one has access to the UART peripheral, instead of just video display output… It helps with troubleshooting and also poking u-boot. I think I’d try to make and sd card with a minimal “rescue” system, use the right commands in u-boot to make it use an extlinux.conf file in the sd, backup the nand somewhere, then experiment… but I expect things not to go smoothly if the version of u-boot on the nand is old, extlinux.conf support is “recent”. It is possible to use u-boot to boot a newer u-boot on the sd card and then boot linux on the sd. I’m sorry but it’s been months since I’ve touched any of these things, I do not remember the exact details. It was fun though.